University of Colorado senior Julien Lounis packed his bags and headed to the University of California at Berkeley on Friday to watch the Buffs’ first football game against future Pac-10 rival Cal.
But after watching CU get “hammered” 52-7, Lounis and his friends decided to leave during the third quarter.
“I was just so disappointed by our team, again, and I wanted to make a point to the athletic department about it,” Lounis said. “I thought sending them an e-mail might get their attention.”
And a statement was definitely made when Lounis sent an e-mail to the athletic department Monday night requesting reimbursement for his ticket and travel expenses.
“That does not even deserve a response,” CU athletics spokesman David Plati wrote in an e-mail Tuesday.
Lounis’ e-mail was sent to athletic director Mike Bohn and to a departmental account that Lounis thought would reach coach Dan Hawkins.
The request read, “with high hopes of at least a good game, I was truly disheartened and disappointed with the football program’s effort,” Lounis wrote. “Unless you can provide an explanation as to why we consistently perform so poorly, I would like to be reimbursed for my trip.”
Attached was an invoice detailing his flight, hotel and ticket cost, which totaled $401.40, the amount Lounis requested.
Lounis will not be reimbursed for any of his expenses, Plati said.
“In all sports, there are no guarantees on the back of any ticket that says the home team must win or your money back or the person’s favorite team,” Plati wrote. “Sounds like someone wants his 15 minutes of fame.”
Lounis got the idea from an Oregon student who wrote a similar letter to his athletic department and was given a refund for his expenses.
“I don’t think the guy ever cashed the check,” Lounis said. “It’s just the principle of the thing.”
Plati said these kinds of e-mails from students and other fans are typical throughout all of sports.
Lounis said while he didn’t expect a refund, he still felt the message of dissatisfied students needed to be expressed.
“Tons of money is being pumped into the school, including the athletic department, through students’ tuition,” Lounis said. “Students want something done about it and we should be listened to.”
CU senior Keith Mertz said with students spending so much money at CU, they shouldn’t have to spend more on a losing team.
“I think he should be reimbursed,” Mertz said. “We don’t get much for the cost of a ticket besides a losing team.”
Other students said they don’t think Lounis should get a refund because risk is involved in all sports.
“That’s just silly that he wants a refund,” said CU senior Emily Low. “He chose to buy the ticket knowing we could lose. He is responsible for his own choices.”
CU senior Dan Malott said a true fan accepts the good with the bad, so Lounis is on his own.
“If you’re a fan, you’re a fan,” Malott said.
Lounis said he would be happier with the program if CU would fire Hawkins and give the players a fresh start.
“Hawkins has been the only coach here since I got here and it’s been a constant regression over the years,” Lounis said. “It’s time to let him go.”